Art from the Edge of Everything: Painting as Spiritual Practice

Art from the Edge of Everything

Louis Parsons’ art SoulScapes was recently featured in the Integral Art Gallery – December 2012.


Louis Parsons, Artist, iAwake Guest Blogger

I’ve been painting professionally, in a very particular way that has become known as “SoulScaping,” for over ten years. During this time, painting has been my major spiritual practice. You see, to be honest, I’m not that good at meditating. I have a very busy mind, but a mind that has some very helpful, creative thoughts. Because I get these on a consistent basis, its hard to let go of thoughts completely. I don’t want to miss any little gems that could become great art or “world changing ideas!”

Despite my inability to meditate all that well, it seems I have developed something of an extraordinary life. Just the other day someone said to me, “You are 37, successful, painting and doing workshops that help others. You love your work, you travel, and have a beautiful family. You know what you want, and you inspire others. How did this happen so quickly?

This was a very weird moment for me, as I’m constantly stretching forward into the next “new thing.” I’m continually discontent but quite enjoy using this tension to explore the fresh, the new, and the unexplored. This comment caused me to stop for a moment. If this were true… what would the answer be?

I’ve been practicing Centering Prayer for about ten years. The thing is, 3 years ago, we had a baby.  When my first son arrived, and I looked into his eyes, blinking in the fluorescent hospital lights, it was the first time I stepped out from my side of my skin, and out beyond my normal, conventional sense of self. I’ll never forget it. I was truly awake for the first time in my life. Caught in the light of another’s life, caught in the sparkle of a beautiful, blinking eye.

Shortly after this awakening came a vast, complex, unnavigable raft of life experience that was often overwhelming and beyond any challenge I’d ever experienced. Lack of sleep, constant care of a little life, changes in relationships, work, finance, home… everything.

I remember one morning when I just felt completely wiped out. I didn’t want to move out of bed. I couldn’t face reality. I just didn’t have the energy or any centre to operate from anymore. Try telling a baby that you need to “be still” to replenish your energy levels! See what response you get.

I needed help in my practice and eventually came across brainwave entrainment and PMPI’m a big fan!

I’ve been using PMP for over a year and a half now. The great thing is, I can pop on my headphones and paint at the same time. Even if I have only 4 hours sleep, I can paint and receive energy at the same time. When I’m writing or catching up with work stuff, I put on Digital Euphoria or Sattva. I can block out distractions and focus on one thing.

Over time, when I do centre, even without the help of PMP, I seem to be able to access a deeper and richer place more quickly than ever before. A number of times now, in the midst of domestic chaos, or work craziness… I see life in a whole new way. In a single breath, in a single moment, I know I flow as the light of God. I am closer to the whole spectrum of life experience than ever before. The raft of life experience has started to become navigable. I have the most beautiful sense sometimes that no matter how hard, how challenging, how overwhelming life can be… I am one with it… and I can create with it.

I still face many challenges, and these experiences are yet to become a consistent reality. But maybe I am beginning to become what I have been painting all these years.

Louis Parsons


Louis Parsons - Art from the Edge of Everything

Louis Parsons recently made Artist in Residence for The Four Seasons Kuda Huraa. Louis is on a quest to enable art to express the power and freedom that lives in all of us. He is developing a school of ‘spiritual portraiture’ – by utilizing the SoulScape Process as a way to capture the emotional side of a person rather than the physical.


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